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Couchsurfing in Russia: Friendships and Misadventures Behind Putin’s Curtain

Ratings:
291 pages3 hours

Summary

‘In the late summer of 2016,’ writes award-winning travel writer Stephan Orth, ‘a journey to Russia feels like visiting enemy territory.’

In this humorous and thought-provoking book, Orth ventures through that vast and mysterious land to uncover the real, unfiltered Russia not seen in today’s headlines: authentic, bizarre, dangerous, and beautiful. Sidestepping the well-trod tourist path by staying with an eclectic array of hosts, he bumps into gun nuts, internet conspiracy theorists, faux shamans, and Putin fans; learns to drive in death-defying Russian style; and discovers how to cure hangovers by sniffing rye bread. But he also sees a darker side of the country, witnessing firsthand the effects of Putin’s influence in the run-up to the American election and the power of propaganda in this ‘post-fact’ era.

Weaving everything together with thoughtfulness and warmth, Orth follows the bestselling Couchsurfing in Iran with another complex, funny, and personal travelogue – a colourful portrait of a fascinating and misunderstood country.

‘Funny, insightful, and mind-bendingly entertaining. Stephan Orth is a fearless and fabulous tour guide to the real Russia and its people.’—Lisa Dickey, author of Bears in the Streets: Three Journeys across a Changing Russia

‘Quirky, subtly revealing … Amazing reporting, generous pictures, and the author's true sense of connection with the locals add up to a truly honest view of Russia today.’—Kirkus Reviews

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